Concrete Finish Options For Your Next Project

If you're new to working with concrete, you may be surprised to find out how many different options are available to finish it. Whether you're pouring a basement floor, patio or driveway, you'll want to think about the type of finish you want to complete your project. Here's a look at a few common concrete finishing choices that may add that perfect finishing touch.

Stencils

Stencils allow you to customize the finish on your concrete. You can do all of the work from around the perimeter of the concrete, so you won't disrupt the pouring and spreading efforts. Stenciling allows you to produce detail on the surface of the concrete without creating a lot of texture, because the stencils are applied on the surface only. To create a stenciled finish, you place the stencil on the concrete, then lightly spray a thin layer of concrete over it or use a trowel to spread it. Then, lift the stencil to leave the image behind.

Stamps

If you like the idea of adding a specific pattern or image to your concrete floor but you want more texture than stenciling can give you, consider stamped concrete instead. With stamped concrete, the image is imprinted into the surface of the concrete as it is curing, creating depth and texture. You can create virtually any look with this process, including patterns that resemble wood grains, brick and stone.

Brooms

A broom finish is a quick and easy way to put a bit of texture onto the concrete surface without the elaborate efforts that can be required for careful placement of stencils and stamps. While broom finishes don't produce the same intricate designs as the other methods, it produces a smooth, even pattern. To create this finish, run a broom over the surface of the concrete while it's curing. The bristles create texture in the surface. You can work all in one direction, or you can sweep in many different directions to create visual patterns in the concrete.

Salt

Rock salt is a unique way to finish a concrete floor. A rock salt finish produces texture and visual patterns by leaving behind small indents in the finished floor. If you're looking for an aged, weathered finish, the pitted look created by spreading rock salt crystals across the floor and pressing them into the curing concrete can do just that. Once the concrete has cured, rinse the floor with warm water to dissolve the salt crystals and leave behind the crevices created by them.

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